Adilabad: Sirpur (T) MLA Koneru Konappa’s brother Koneru Krishna, the zilla parishad vice-chairman of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, and his henchmen attacked a woman Forest Range Officer (FRO) and other forest staff with sticks and wooden poles on Sunday, even as the police stood by.
Forest Range Officer Chole Anitha was beaten with sticks. Other women forest officers were beaten up by women villagers. There are allegations that some TRS leaders dragged the women forest staff by their hair and misbehaved with them. The police present at the site did nothing.
The violence was condemned by TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao.
A video of the incident shows the villagers beating Ms Anitha who collapses after being beaten. The TRS activists also attacked the tractors that the forest officers had brought with them.
The forest officials were preparing a 50-hectare parcel of land to plant saplings during the oncoming Haritha Haram, to develop a forest to compensate for the loss of forests for the construction of the Kaleshwaram dam.
Locals had been cultivating this land at Kotha-Sarasala in Kagaznagar mandal in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district for a long time and did not want to be dispossessed of it.
Koneru Krishna and his henchmen smashed forest vehicles and created panic among the forest staff.
The forest staff was helpless as it was the vice-chairman of the zilla parishad himself who was attacking forest staff.
Kagaznagar police took 16 persons, including Koneru Krishna, into custody. Warangal Range IG Nagireddy issued orders suspending Kagaznagar deputy superintendent of police Mr Sambaiah and Rural circle inspector Venkateshwaralu for negligence in discharging their duties.
Mr Koneru Krishna claimed that the forest officials and staff had been harassing local farmers and were not allowing them to plant seeds on the land for which they have pattas under the STs and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act.
He alleged that forest staff has been obstructing local farmers from cultivating their lands, and blamed the forest officials and staff for today’s incident. Mr Krishna announced his resignation as VC of the Asifabad Zilla Parishad in protest against what he called the unruly behaviour of forest officials and staff....